CAPE TOWN, South Africa – While you were driving to your 2020 year-end holiday destination you probably encountered at least one reckless driver whose lousy road skills put you and your family in harm’s way.
Even when back on the roads for normal driving – work, social, sport – real drivers will be watching for such idiots and know what to do.
MasterDrive’s MD, Eugene Herbert, The Corner’s go-to for driving advice, says the ultimate objective should be to put as much distance as is possible between your car and such drivers.
RECKLESS DRIVING ‘INEVITABLE’
“No matter how infuriating it may be to encounter such driving,” he warns, ”stay cool and suppress the temptation to block them, match their speed, or express your frustration in gestures.
”Accept that reckless drivers are inevitable; let them pass and show no reaction.”
Other things you can do to protect yourself and your family or friends include:
• Change lane and move as far away from the threat as possible, even if it means giving way to them.
• If you spot a driver clearly endangering other road users have a passenter call the police on your behalf to warn about the errant driver.
• If it is a company vehicle, note the number on the truck and let the company or owner know what their driver is doing.
LET THE PEOPLE GO
• Never cross an intersection just assuming it is safe to do so because it is your right of way. Always double-check before moving off.
• Do not try keep pace with someone who is exceeding the speed limit; rather let them pass, especially if they are tailgating.
• Increase your following distance if you are behind a reckless driver in case their lack of foresight forces them to brake suddenly- or if they brake suddenly to get a rise out of you.
• A large gap between yourself and a reckless driver will also give you time to react should the other driver make a move without signalling their intention.
WATCH FOR ERRATIC DRIVING
• Do not engage with someone driving erratically. The use of drugs, in particular, can elicit an irrational response.
• Watch out for cars being driven recklessly – the driver could be intoxicated.
• While spotting a driver who is driving erratically because they are on their phone can be exasperating, hooting at them, driving close to get their attention, or various other means of chastising them can make the situation more dangerous.
Instead, just move away.
Whatever driver you encounter during holiday periods or just plain commuting, nbe prepared. Herbert says: “Do not engage with them but rather prioritise the safety of yourself and your family.